NatWest's Hayling Island branch celebrates 75th birthday
Staff at NatWest's Hayling Island branch are busy celebrating a very special event - the branch's 75th birthday.
01 Sep 2011
As part of the celebrations, the staff are dressing as people would have done 75 years ago, inviting in longstanding customers and former staff, and sharing a giant birthday cake with their customers.
NatWest's Hayling Island branch first opened in 1936 as an office of National Provincial Bank. Until the late nineteenth century Hayling Island comprised a number of small villages, with local employment in farming, fishing and a sea salt industry. Earlier in the century a wooden bridge to Langstone had been constructed, and an attempt had been made to establish the island as a resort, including the construction of Norfolk Crescent and the Royal Hotel, though this met with limited success. The opening to passengers in 1867 of the recently-constructed railway line from Havant to Hayling Island had made the island more accessible for summer visitors, and in 1901 the island had a population of 1,600. From the early 1930s Hayling Island was transformed into a popular holiday resort, offering holiday camps and cinemas, and its population increased dramatically. This rapid growth attracted the attention of the directors of National Provincial Bank, and on 31 August 1936 the bank opened a new office there in rented premises in Elm Grove, Gable Head, South Hayling under the management of W R Smale. In 1954 the branch moved to new premises at 19 Mengham Road and following the merger of National Provincial Bank with Westminster Bank began to trade under the National Westminster name in 1970. In 1975 the branch moved to newly-constructed premises at 22 Mengham Road, from which it continues to trade today.
Commenting on the celebrations, Jo Harris, Manager of NatWest's Hayling Island Branch, said: "We are delighted to be celebrating the fact that NatWest has been operating a banking service for the people of Hayling Island for 75 years. We are proud of our close association with the area and look forward to celebrating this occasion with our customers, as well as continuing to provide a high quality service to the local community."